Résumé: The Mediterranean Sea is characterized by large scale gradients of temperature, productivity and salinity, in addition to pronounced mesoscale differences. Such a heterogeneous system is expected to shape the population dynamics of marine species. On the other hand, prevailing environmental and climatic conditions at whole basin scale may force spatially distant populations to fluctuate in synchrony. Cephalopods are excellent case studies to test these hypotheses owing to their high sensitivity to environmental conditions. Data of two cephalopod species with contrasting life histories (benthic octopus vs nectobenthic squid), obtained from scientific surveys carried out throughout the Mediterranean during the last 20 years were analyzed. The objectives of this study and the methods used to achieve them (in parentheses) were: (i) to investigate synchronies in spatially separated populations (decorrelation analysis); (ii) detect underlying common abundance trends over distant regions (dynamic factor analysis, DFA); and (iii) analyse putative influences of key environmental drivers such as productivity and sea surface temperature on the population dynamics at regional scale (general linear models, GLM). In accordance with their contrasting spatial mobility, the distance from where synchrony could no longer be detected (decorrelation scale) was higher in squid than in octopus (349 vs 217 km); for comparison, the maximum distance between locations was 2620 km. The DFA revealed a general increasing trend in the abundance of both species in most areas, which agrees with the already reported worldwide proliferation of cephalopods. DFA results also showed that population dynamics are more similar in the eastern than in the western Mediterranean basin. According to the GLM models, cephalopod populations were negatively affected by productivity, which would be explained by an increase of competition and predation by fishes. While warmer years coincided with declining octopus numbers, areas of high sea surface temperature showed higher densities of squid. Our results are relevant for regional fisheries management and demonstrate that the regionalisation objectives envisaged under the new Common Fishery Policy may not be adequate for Mediterranean cephalopod stocks. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.